Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Hoot Hoot

I finished reading The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and my friend Erin's manuscript yesterday. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh was okay. I think that it was incredibly well written. Michael Chabon is talented. I didn't really like the characters and this makes it hard to love the book. There are plenty of other books where the characters are flawed and unlikable but somewhere you usually find some characteristic that endears you to them (The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch is one that immediately comes to mind.) This doesn't happen here. The story follows a young adult boy through his summer in Pittsburgh. He's tormented by familial history and has picked up a new set of friends. Each of these people is rich in character, a few are likeable, but overall I can't quite figure out how they mesh together. I think Chabon plays with characters a bit, trying to bring out qualities in each that somehow mirror the protagonist. I'm not quite sure he pulls it off here and well as he does in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Each of these characters challenges Art, the protagonist, but not in a way that is clear. All in all, a good read but I don't know if I'd recommend it. If you're a Chabon fan, it's worth picking up.

Here's an interview with Chabon on powells.com.

Erin's manuscript is impressive, her first novel. She's got a talent for writing in a clear and concise manner. I'm looking forward to talking with you about it all Erin!

I needed a quick read before my bookclub meets next week to pick our next selection. Hoot
by Carl Hiaasen has been in the bookcase for awhile. It's a book geared toward the 10-12 age range. Just about exactly what I can handle right now. I haven't read Hiaasen and this may be a good start.


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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Wendy! I look forward to chatting with you about the book. I appreciate that you took the time to read it and can give me feedback.

~ E

10/06/2004 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished Hoot about an hour ago. It wasn't too bad. I listened to Skinny Dip on tape a couple of weeks ago and really liked it. The characters were just a bit over the top - but it works with the satirical nature of the book. There were a couple of characters that really made me laugh out loud and are pretty unforgettable. Enjoyable reads...Hoot was kind of like a watered down version of the adult book (in terms of story complexity and character depth - and it's a different story line) - but still a good read.

10/11/2004 2:06 PM  
Blogger Bookish Wendy said...

Was Skinny Dip at all violent? I can't deal with the guts and stuff lately. It must be the up and coming holidays. I want only joy and hilarity. Naiveté rocks.

10/12/2004 10:28 AM  

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